July 11, 2006

Pennsylvania Governor makes leaving a child unattended in vehicle punishable by law

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania – Governor Edward G. Rendell of Pennsylvania yesterday signed legislation that will make it illegal for anyone to leave a child unattended in a motor vehicle. Under House Bill 804, the driver of the vehicle will be subject to a separate offense for each child who is abandoned.

“Leaving a child in a vehicle unattended is unacceptable,” Rendell said. “Anything could happen within a few minutes of being left alone. This new law works to protect our most vulnerable, and it makes sure that people understand it is not okay to leave any child in a vehicle unattended, no matter the situation.”

A recent study in Pediatrics Magazine, the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, found that an average of 42 children die each year in the U.S. of hyperthermia by being left in hot cars.

Bill 804 also includes other new traffic laws regarding fleeing or eluding a police officer, driving near emergency response areas and allowing agricultural operations on specific highways.

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